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Avoid ‘Summer Slide’ and Make Learning Fun

July 5th, 2016     By Samantha Whaley, MPA, Boys Town Expert

Connecting with Kids, Early Childhood, education, School

Now that the school year has ended, what are your kids up to? If they’re like most, they’re sleeping late and spending extra time watching television and playing video games. Maybe they’re spending some time with their friends. Chances are, they’re not doing a whole lot of learning, though, and this contributes to summer learning loss, also called “summer slide.”

Did you know that the equivalent of one month of overall learning is typically lost after summer vacation? Here are some other facts about summer learning loss:

  • In the fall, students spend six weeks relearning material to make up for summer learning loss.
  • Two months of reading skills are lost over the summer break.
  • It can take up to two months from the first day of school for a student’s brain development to get back on track.

Don’t let summertime become a learning wasteland for your child. As few as two or three hours of learning each week is enough to prevent summer slide.

There are plenty of ways to keep kids’ minds engaged while they’re having fun and experiencing new things. Use a trip to the zoo as inspiration for kids to learn more about specific animals and to draw pictures of their favorite animals. Help kids improve their counting skills; ask them to count similar items around the house — such as all of the windows. Gardening is a fun way for kids to learn about plants and agriculture. A trip to the library will encourage kids to choose new books they’d like to read.

Need some help getting started with ideas? Boys Town has developed 36 summer learning cards that you can use to keep your kids sharp over the summer. Suitable for grades K–3, these cards offer fun and creative projects that kids will enjoy so much they won’t even know they’re learning. To download the cards, click here.

 

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